New Call for Chapters: Handbook of Brand Semiotics & Discourse Analysis

Target Release date: Q4 2021 (est.)

Editors: Dr. George Rossolatos &  1 Co-editor (TBC)

Introduction:  The market opportunity 

Semiotics has exerted a paramount influence on marketing practice and research over the past 40 years. Semiotic concepts have been applied successfully to territories, such as brand and product design, packaging and advertising development and analysis. The analytical, interpretive and practical value that semiotic thinking can bring to branding, however, may not be exhausted in these indispensable marketing planning and implementation tasks. Semiotic perspectives may yield comprehensive frameworks for understanding and managing brands by combining macrocultural readings with concrete, situated research.

Marketing research and practice have paid comparatively less attention to developments in discourse analysis, semiotics’ sister discipline (as argued by Van Dijk ever since the early 90s).Yet, discourse analysis has accomplished considerable strides in furnishing conceptual and methodological platforms for analyzing and producing systematically insights from cultural consumption, as well as branding phenomena. 

In recognition of the various points of intersection between semiotics and discourse analysis, this volume seeks to fill this disciplinary gap, by offering to the academic community a reference volume that synthesizes the joint contribution that semiotics and discourse analysis can make to branding streams, showcases innovative work, and paves the way for future research.

In continuation of the well-received Handbook of Brand Semiotics (2015, Kassel University Press), this interdisciplinary volume aims to provide fertile ground for a fruitful dialogue between conceptualizations and methodological approaches from the marketing field with their equivalents from semiotics and discourse analysis; to discuss the emergent limitations and constraints from this dialogue; and to contribute to the quest for ever more reliable and trustworthy research in this burgeoning field. The featured chapters will be authored by experienced researchers in various areas of brand semiotics and discourse analysis.

The time is ripe for the extended second handbook of Brand Semiotics & Discourse Analysis, at the cross-roads between marketing and semiotic/discourse analytic research. 

Target group(s)

Primary: Academic scholars and advanced students in the marketing, semiotic and discourse analytic disciplines.

Secondary: Practitioners, BA/MA students.

Publication Objectives

  • To provide a high-quality (i.e. well-written, exhaustively researched and referenced) volume that reflects the state-of-the-art in semiotic and discourse analytic research in branding related territories (see indicative contents).
  • To engage in inter-disciplinary dialogue with psychological and other perspectives that are employed in marketing research in approaching the same phenomena, and highlight areas of unique contribution and differentiation for semiotic and discourse analytic perspectives. 
  • To provide directions and recommendations for future research in the scrutinized territories.

Handbook contents/research territories (indicative)

  • New media/digital marketing applications and methodological innovations from semiotics and discourse analysis
  • Social media communities
  • Place branding conceptual models and empirical studies
  • Personal branding conceptual models and empirical studies
  • Cultural branding conceptual models and empirical studies 
  • New approaches to brand equity, brand architecture, brand image
  • Empirical studies 
  • Branding of social movements, ideologies, belief systems
  • Globalization and branding
  • Experiential branding and brand experiences

Word length per chapter: 6-8000 words (including references, tables and charts) 

Chapter structure 

Each chapter must feature the following sections: 

  1. Introduction/statement of objectives/outline of the offered approach 
  2. Literature review
    1. Opportunity gap (in case of empirical papers)
    1. Description of the conceptual model (in case of exploring and/or seeking to confirm a specific model by recourse to a specific corpus/sample/data-set)
    1. The literature review should be narrowly focused on the adopted discourse analytic or semiotic perspective. Quite often, especially in the marketing literature, both disciplines are treated in literature review sections en masse, by citing all sorts of divergent schools of thinking, regardless of the one that is ultimately intended for use. This route should be avoided at all costs. Therefore, if the adopted DA perspective is, for example, CDA, HDA, psychoanalytic DA, digital DA, etc., and likewise for semiotics, social semiotic, cultural semiotic, cognitive semiotic, the explored literature should be theoretically aligned. In exceptional cases where the adopted perspective has not been applied to the scrutinized topic, but other perspectives have been used, they may be cited with the provision that fundamental epistemological, ontological and methodological discrepancies will be sufficiently accounted for. 
    1. At least one page explaining how the offered semiotic or discourse analytic perspective complements or challenges an existing marketing perspective on the scrutinized topic, or opens up a wholly new territory. This is very important, as establishing inter-disciplinary dialogue with existing perspectives in the marketing literature is a key objective of this volume. 
    1. As extensively referenced as possible, since this is intended as a reference volume.
  3. (For empirical studies) Research questions (qual) or Hypotheses (quant) or both (mixed methods, multi-phased research)
  4. Methodological framework: Qualitative, quantitative, mixed methods 
    1. Referencing prior methodological approaches on the same or adjacent topics (if the same topic has not been examined before in the literature)  
    1. Data collection methods, sampling approach or corpus construction considerations
      1. Again, referencing of prior research is crucial, to anchor as succinctly as possible the utilized methods in the extant literature. 
    1. Data analysis methods 
  5. Main findings & Discussion in light of (3) and the extant literature
    1. This may be one or split into two sections (i.e. one displaying findings, followed by a discussion). 
  6. Conclusions and (at least two) areas for future research 
  7. Appendices (if any)
  8. References

Project  milestones (TBC)

What By when
Invitation to authorsDec 3 2020
Delivery of initial extended abstract Dec 30 2020
Delivery of chapter as agreed with the editorsWithin 6 months as of the abstract’s approval
Comments from Editor(s)- content editing process2-3 months as of the reception of the initial draft
Delivery of finished volume to the publishing houseWithin 9 months as of agreement
Publication (est.)late Q4 2021


Will be sent upon acceptance.

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